Confession: I am a dreamer from way back. I LOVE dreaming. Most that know me would say I have big dreams; some would say I have unrealistic dreams - I like to call those people "dream squashers." Whatever people's perspectives are, that doesn't change the fact that I have always and will always enjoy dreaming - dreaming of what was, what is, what will be and what could be. The thing with dreams (especially with someone like me who has plenty) is that they don't all or always come true. Some dreams are squashed, some change form, and some we realize we never truly wanted. There are a few core dreams that I have held onto over the years, and I believe these are desires that God planted inside me when He knit me together in my mother's womb (Jeremiah 1:5). I also believe that as I have matured in my faith and drawn closer to God, He has shaped the desires of my heart to reflect His desires for me (Psalms 37:4).
Several years ago, I was praying while driving home and felt like God was asking me to give Him my dreams. He'd addressed this issue with me several times before, but I never followed through. I felt like I trusted God with most things in my life, but for some reason I couldn't understand why I didn't trust Him with this one particular dream that was nearest to my heart. I enjoy psychoanalyzing myself from time to time, so I took this opportunity to dive into my psyche and my heart to figure out why I just couldn't let this dream go and give it to God. Thankfully, God opened my eyes and I was able to see. I was believing that if I gave my dream to God, He might not give it back. I was so fearful that this might be one of those desires that didn't line up with His desires for me. At that moment of realization, God spoke to my heart and encouraged me - giving my dream to Him doesn't mean He will take it away from me. Letting it go and placing it in God's more-than capable hands was simply the next step in my faith-walk. So, I did. I wholeheartedly gave my dream to my God.
After further contemplation, God brought to my remembrance the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. Here is how the story goes. Abraham and his wife, Sarah, had no children and were quite old. One day, God showed up and told them that they would conceive and bear a child and that through him God would make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky (Genesis 15). After much drama caused by people trying to control God's plans, Isaac was born. This perfect baby boy, the realization of their dreams and the promised son from God, was born. When Isaac grew a tad older, God instructed Abraham to offer Isaac to Him as a sacrifice. What?!?! God promised a son, God gave a son, and now God asked for that same son to be sacrificed? So, Abraham had a choice to make: hold onto his dream with a tight grip or trust and obey God. Abraham trusted and obeyed God. Thankfully, that's not the end of the story. At just the right moment, God provided an animal sacrifice as a substitute for Isaac. This is the passage of Scripture where God reveals His name Jehovah Jireh - God is our Provider.
God taught me that He can be trusted with our deepest and dearest desires of our hearts. He placed them there and He longs to fulfill them. He may not fulfill them when we want or how we want, but He will fulfill them. What we must learn is how to let go of those desires and place them in God's hands. Who are we anyway to believe we can accomplish our dreams better than the God who created the universe? He placed them inside us and has a plan for how they will unfold in our lives. Trust Him today with your dreams and desires. Don't grip them too tightly. Hold them loosely, with open hands lifted to God. He will take care of the rest. He wants to know if He is more important to you than the dream He gave you. Is He?